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Plug and Play

Plug-and-Play Technology Offers Easy Access to Powerful Controls

Light commercial building owners need smart controls systems to help them better manage their buildings, comply with new regulations, and communicate with other systems, but the complexity and expense of installation and integration has been a barrier. Plug-and-play technologies are simplifying the process by leveraging smart equipment, remote and wireless connectivity, and the cloud, creating data-enabled systems at a lower cost with easier installation, commissioning and service.

Smart equipment – HVACR equipment with embedded or configurable controls and intelligence – has had a huge influence over how systems are installed and commissioned. Instead of relying on highly skilled technicians to install equipment and connect and program the system, with smart equipment the central controls system and the equipment are able to connect through self-discovery, and the data from the equipment flows seamlessly through the control system.

Suitable for single- and multi-zone applications, the light commercial controls systems connect to a wide range of mechanical and electrical equipment, controls and sensors using wireless communication that significantly reduces installation costs. Control configuration is simple; no special programming is required. With that easy access to data, building owners and managers have the solutions at hand to optimize energy use and building performance.

The plug-and-play benefits of smart systems are not limited to controlling a single manufacturer’s products; top-notch systems can accommodate devices from any major supplier with the addition of simple control modules. Systems can be retrofitted in existing buildings or deployed in new buildings, additions and renovations. Which means companies that thought controls systems were out of reach now have a chance to make them a reality.

For individual buildings, control data travels by way of a highly secure, dedicated gateway. For multiple facilities, such as chains of restaurants or big-box retail stores, data can be accessed anywhere, anytime with equally robust security. In either case, access to the control system is password-protected and with levels of authorization commensurate with personnel responsibilities.

Plug-and-play technology is also opening the doors for systems integrations that were previously only possible with sophisticated systems for complex buildings. Users now can integrate other critical building functions that traditionally have been separate, unconnected systems. Input-output modules make it possible to integrate control of lighting, irrigation, refrigeration, electricity metering, security, and life safety alarms. These functions can be added with the same simplicity and remote connectivity as for control over the indoor environment, and with the same remote access to system status, configuration adjustment, and trending information. This gives owners power to control the complete building system from a single interface.

Having a data-enabled connected controls systems with an easier install and commissioning is helping companies save money upfront. With new controls and intelligence capabilities, buildings are also able to improve their building performance, energy savings and operational efficiency, helping them improve servicing, save money over the lifetime of their building and comply with regulations.

Read the full paper – Plug-and-play smarts: A revolution in environmental and systems control for light commercial buildings

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Watch webinar – A control revolution for small and mid-size buildings

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